So you want to invest in video marketing strategies…
Of course, you do. Who doesn’t?
Videos have taken over the landscape of content creation and content sharing across the internet.
Given a choice between videos or a large wall of text, your audiences will immediately opt for the former, and for good reason.
Reading and comprehending what’s being said requires your full attention, and understanding the context being said between the lines.
On the other hand, moving pictures on screen offer far more effortless entertainment. It’s convenient and admittedly more engaging.
Even children, who are notorious for short attention spans, will sit down through an entire video if it’s compelling enough for them.
What’s the point?
Speaking from everybody’s personal experience, all of us are willing to bet our salaries that much of the information that we gather while browsing the internet comes through videos.
Nowadays, video content is a large part of the users’ experience. And it also makes up most of their expectations. The conclusion should be a no-brainer. Solid video marketing strategies are a must-have.
And if you’re still second-guessing video marketing’s effectivity, then take a look at these statistics published by credible sources on the internet:
- 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool (HubSpot Survey).
- The average internet user consumes at least 1.5 hours worth of video content a day (HubSpot Survey).
- Nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to products or services before visiting a physical store (Google).
- On average, click-through rates for video ads are at 1.84% — the highest of all digital ad formats (Business Insider).
- 60% of site visitors will watch a video if it’s available (Single Grain).
- 52% of marketers say video content generates the best ROI (HubSpot).
- Users view more than 500 million hours of video per day on YouTube.
- Viewers retain 95% of a message if it’s on video, compared to 10% when reading it in the text (Wirebuzz).
- A one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words (Forrester Research).
- By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco).
You may read also…
Video Production at a StartUp Budget
So based off of those statistics, it looks like formulating video marketing strategies are the next steps any kind of business must take to reach their target audience better, maximize engagement, as well as create a more approachable image and authentic brand.
But you’re a startup company…
And producing a video that your audience will appreciate will need lots of money.
Where are you going to get the finances to hire talents who don’t shy away from camera lenses?
How are you going to mount an entire production with a production crew? That’s a lot of busybodies to pay for; not to mention, there’s a huge load of the right equipment needed to!
It looks like producing a video to use for marketing isn’t worth all the trouble your pocket’s going to have to weather through.
But let’s take a step back for a second, and look at the big picture together…
When you really think about it, you don’t need an entire film crew and makeup artists to put your next big project into motion.
You can most certainly mount a production with a handful of people you can find in your own team. All you need to do is to put your resourcefulness and creativity into play.
Creating profitable video marketing strategies is definitely possible, even with your startup budget.
Step 1: Set your objectives
Every digital marketing tactic has a purpose…
And your entry into the video marketing game isn’t any different. Your new marketing maneuver will most certainly struggle if your sole objective is to “sell your web design services.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that…
But you also have to take into account the fact that your audiences don’t appreciate blatant sales pitches…
They want to experience. They want to be informed and educated about the basics of what you’re doing. Not enough to do it themselves, but to have a general idea of what they’re getting themselves into.
Remember: too much self-promotional content will be perceived as spam. The outcome? A forgotten video that collects viewer dust on social media platforms and YouTube.
The main purpose of your videos should be to entertain, educate, and evoke a response from your viewers. That’s the type of video content that gets attention.
User experience takes priority over the lead generation and conversion. They will follow closely when you get the former right.
So, to determine the clear objectives you have to:
- Get to know your audience by any means.
- Understand their online behavior, and the method which they want to be engaged in.
- Create content that you know will meet their needs and answer their questions.
Step 2: Make a list of what to consider during content creation
After you’ve taken steps to reassess and understand who your audience is, it’s time to plan for content that is relevant to your business niche and will appeal to your viewers as well.
No one wants to produce a video that nobody will watch.
Things to take into consideration, aside from business niche and audience needs, include:
- Video formatting: Would your audience take kindly to ‘how-to’ videos? What about brand stories or narratives? Maybe they like informational videos that come in the form of vlogs — just light and casual.
- Upload schedule: The world’s biggest YouTubers are where they are today for a lot of reasons, but their consistent upload schedules are definitely part of the formula. Consider one that you can actually commit to — barring unfortunate situations.
- Your StartUp budget: You’re already on startup budget, so you need to allot specific finances for what you really need versus what can be easily remedied. For instance, you definitely need a camera, but you can do without a tripod. Stable stacks of objects around the headquarters will do. It sounds clunky, but it works…
- Production crew: Assess each of your team members’ capabilities. You never know they’re good at something until they try. Encourage everyone’s participation, because, while a one-man production team is possible, it’s not always preferable. Videos are a team effort.
- Production setting: Locations are essential. Consider the expanse, the colors, the quality of sound within the room, and the amount of light that can filter through. Do you need a studio? Or can you work with empty rooms around the office?
Step 3: Assemble your production crew
When the thought of mounting a video production comes to mind, a lot of us can’t help but jump to thinking about an entire army of camera crew, talents, directors, and producers.
One just can’t help but think about the general organized chaos that comes with the novelty of a movie set in action.
But then again, 2018 is coming to an end and 2019 is just around the corner. Gone are the days when the simple process of capturing moving images required weeks to complete.
Now, thanks to something as mundane as your smartphone, you can capture videos at high definitions.
And as we mentioned before, it’s time to reassess your team members’ capabilities.
A production crew doesn’t have to comprise of an entire department. Four to ten people are more than capable of mounting a competent production crew.
Furthermore, there are also dozens of reasonably priced — or affordable — tools for filming available in online shops and niche stores.
There are tools that will let you record what’s going on in your screen, and your voice at the same time. There are also tools that will let you do competent editing in your smartphone. Although, post-production done in a PC unit is much better.
Video productions done in-house will expectantly cost less than a massive production set with a full cast and crew.
But you need to understand — as a StartUp business — that upon deciding on producing videos for marketing, production won’t come cheap.
Financial investments are still unavoidable. But that’s exactly why you consider your budget before delving even further. Deciding what you absolutely need, and what you can get from being resourceful is crucial.
One important tip you’ll always have to keep in mind: awesome videos are guaranteed to generate a profit.
Step 4: Be a stickler for excellent video quality
No matter who your audiences are, you can bet that they take pleasure in videos produced in high-quality.
Your videos on the internet — no matter the site, are a big deal.
When you take a step towards video marketing, you don’t want to waste your time uploading a YouTube video that’s horrible quality, boring, and just painful to watch.
You’re trying to entertain, educate, and engage your viewers…
Not challenge them to a ‘try not to cringe’ game.
Know Your Production Phases
An immense amount of planning goes into video production — no matter the format.
And even if you’re not a film student, it’s still worthwhile to be knowledgeable about production phases; especially when you’re venturing out to video marketing.
You want to do it right and get it correctly the first time.
In general, there are four phases of video production:
- Pre-production: This is the phase where you make lists of what you need, write out a solid script for the day’s topic, and prepare what you need for the production phase. If you’re doing a demonstration video, it’s ideal to complete the before-and-after product now. This is your preparation phase. Don’t miss anything.
- Production: This is when the actual filming will take place — evidently. Although you may have prepared the lighting, the environment, as well as the camera set up in the pre-production phase, little tweaks and adjustments can still happen depending on the conditions.
- Post-production: This is the polishing stage. Your raw clips are done. It’s time to compile them all together and make them look good. This is the stage where editing happens, and where last-minute adjustments can be made.
- Distribution: This is the phase where video positioning happens. In films, it’s when the movies hit the cinemas. In video marketing, it’s when your final output is published live on the internet.
Write a Great Script
The number of articles published on the internet won’t deny the truth of content being king…
As such, the same principle applies to script writing for video marketing. The technicalities are essential, but it’s just as important to write a great script to air awesome content.
Remember to keep an eye on video trends, so you won’t overdo it with length.
Nobody wants a lengthy video full of discussions running around in circles, nor does anyone want a one-minute video that barely scrapes the surface of a compelling argument.
Go in-depth, as much as possible, but not too much that your audience suffers from an information overload.
Keep it light, fun, conversational, and entertaining while nailing the point of the entire discussion.
Don’t forget to include compelling CTAs too, and don’t shy away from telling your audience what you want them to do by the end of your video.
Do you want your audiences to engage in discussions in the comments section? Throw them a question that would tickle their opinions right out of them.
You want them to leave likes, and subscribe to your channel too, don’t you? Don’t hesitate, and come outright and tell them.
You may read also…
3 Essentials: Lighting, Environment, & Audio Quality
When we start talking about video productions, most first-timers will immediately jump to discussing camera-quality.
However, the truth is, the type of camera you use is the least of your worries. It’s a big factor, no doubt about that.
But don’t focus too much on getting the best cameras without considering your production setting’s essentials.
Remember that your lighting, environment, and sound quality is important to a lovely video production. And the best part, it’s not going to be a part of your budget either — unless you invest in purchasing artificial lights, boom microphones, and a studio-for-rent.
- Lighting: When it comes to lighting, gauge your options well, and don’t make the mistake of choosing dark rooms when you don’t have enough artificial lighting to fill the space with. It doesn’t have to be complicated though. It can be as simple as a diffused window, a complete LED lighting setup. You only have to follow one rule: keep your subject well-lit, and make use of a flattering angle.
- Environment: Choose your location well, and make sure you can let in enough light if you rely on natural lighting. Check the sound quality of the chosen place too. Furthermore, your chosen background leaves an impression on your business. Keep it interesting, clean, and professional; not busy or distracting.
- Audio quality: Horrible sound quality is the most distracting part of a video. It’s also the greatest barricade in hearing a great story. And if you think you can remedy it in post-production, be warned that it’s not an easy or cheap mishap to fix. Getting it right the first time is so crucial. Use an external recorder, or invest in a microphone. Just don’t make the mistake of recording audio with your camera’s built-in microphone.
You may read also…
Choose the Right Cameras
Those three essentials covered, and out of the way, we’ll finally talk about the type of camera to use.
Of course, thanks to the internet and that powerful computer in your pocket, capturing videos are now very convenient. But in video marketing, quality is important.
Depending on what kind of format you’re going to film, you have three common options:
- Smartphone: You don’t have to spend a fortune just to find the right camera. New models of smartphones are pretty adept at capturing high definition-quality videos.
- Laptops and PC Units: If your computer is a significantly newer model — perhaps released this year or so, then you can make use of the camera available. It would also be good to purchase a separate web camera of high-quality.
- DSLR Cameras: And of course, the best camera to have for filming a video production is a DSLR camera (preferably Nikon and Canon). DSLR cameras are known for providing the clearest images and a depth-of-field look that makes videos look very professional.
By now, it’s obvious that the name of the game is high-definition quality. The same applies to edit. Don’t stick to mediocre ones.
Editing — when done right — can exceptionally change and develop the value of the entire video project. This is the phase where every aspect of the entire video is polished for viewing pleasure.
Put a flawless recording and editing process together, and you can have a brilliant video that adheres to production rules.
Be Creative and Resourceful During Production
To successfully produce a high-quality video under a startup budget, a great degree of creativity and resourcefulness is necessary. You can’t get through filming without both street smarts and intelligence.
For instance, in situations where you’re missing a tripod, how will you place your camera at that just-right angle to get that perfect shot? How do you use the resources around you to make stuff right during production?
If you’re missing a slate board, how do you properly segment your raw clips so the editor won’t have to go through hell just editing it?
When you suddenly lose natural light in the middle of a production, how do you make use of artificial light around you to get the right lighting?
Instances like that happen, and questions like that need to be answered. It just takes a matter of proper planning, and resourcefulness. It goes a long way.
Step 5: Strategize your video positioning
It doesn’t matter how awesome in quality your videos are if nobody’s paying attention to them. If nobody’s watching your video content, it might as well be a lost cause. It’s basically useless.
Strategic distribution is a vital part of your video marketing strategies. It will aid in lead generation and eventual conversion.
And because it’s important to ensure the success of any kind of content, the most obvious advice experts would give is to put your videos on YouTube, and share them like crazy across your social media platforms.
Put it on YouTube
That iconic red play button has now gone down in history as a cultural staple for decades, and admittedly, it will continue into the foreseeable future too.
A lot of the famous people that we know today were discovered on this glorious video platform.
- YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google (Alexa).
- People watch 150 million hours of YouTube every day (Omnicore).
- YouTube attracts approximately one-third of the internet’s users (Omnicore).
- By 2025, 50% of viewers under 32 will no longer subscribe to paid TV (Omnicore).
And when viewed from a business perspective, it’s difficult to deny the effectiveness of video marketing on YouTube.
The first step for any startup venturing into video marketing for the first time is to create a YouTube channel and start the road from there. Posting it on other video sharing sites will get you views, but not as many as YouTube.
A regular and consistent upload schedule is integral to the future success of your YouTube channel, but don’t ignore the analytics and the data either. You want to make sure that you’re getting the right audience.
But uploading on YouTube is just the beginning…
You have more marketing to do…
Share it on social media
Jack up your video marketing maneuvers by sharing every new YouTube video on your business’ social media accounts. Link to or embed them in your posts and every status update.
- 22% of the world’s population uses Facebook (Statista).
- 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day (Pew Research Center).
- LinkedIn has 530 million user profiles (LinkedIn).
- 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily (Wordstream).
- 400 million snaps are shared on Snapchat per day (AdWeek).
- 80% of the time, people use mobile to access their social media platforms (Marketing Land).
Facebook, for instance, allows YouTube embedding in your posts. Twitter lets you link these videos from your tweets. On Pinterest, you can “pin” your latest uploads to your virtual pinboards. Instagram Story has a ‘swipe up’ feature that you can link to your YouTube videos.
Tell your audience via personalized email campaigns
Your video marketing strategies don’t stop at YouTube and social media. You have to keep your loyal visitors and email subscribers updated too.
According to HubSpot’s survey, using the word “video” in an email subject line increases open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
The people who are in your email list are subscribed to your services because they have learned from you before, and would very much like to continue learning. So, don’t neglect these people.
Keep them in the loop, and mention your newest video in email newsletters.
Blog about it
And on top of all of that, your company blog is the perfect place to promote your newest videos to loyal customers — aside from the email lists, of course.
According to Moz, blog posts that incorporate video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video.
Make it a point to discuss each new video in its own dedicated blog post, embedding it into the post itself. You can also provide a full video transcription for your audience’s further referencing in the future.
Be as helpful, and educational as possible. Remember?
Step 6: Optimize, optimize, & optimize for YouTube
You can never go wrong with optimizing your videos uploaded in YouTube. If you want people to see your content, then you have to do whatever it takes to make it as discoverable on search engines as possible.
Promoting the video on your social networking platforms is one thing, but the organic search is another. And you don’t want to miss out on that avenue of opportunity too.
Search engine-friendly headlines
When we look for videos to have our questions about a specific something answered, the first thing we tend to gravitate towards is the video title or the headline.
And more often than not, that particular part is what determines whether or not we’ll watch a certain video…
So it only stands to reason that your video titles should be compelling, direct, and will immediately guarantee answers to your audience’s questions.
Google shortens titles somewhere around 66 characters. A headline that’s too long will have an ellipse tagging at the very end of it.
Also, YouTube automatically adds the word “YouTube –” to the beginning of a video’s title tag, that means you’re already 10 characters down.
So, create titles that closely match what your viewers are searching for. And of course, keep it short.
Write a reasonable description; not a whole story
The official character limit for YouTube’s video descriptions is 1,000 characters…
However, that doesn’t mean you should go absolutely nuts on the description.
Keep in mind that your audience came to your channel expecting to watch a video — not read an entire story. They probably won’t bother checking your description out unless you tell them — in the video — that there’s something valuable in the description box waiting for them.
For this reason, it’s wise to front-load the description with the most valuable CTAs, important information, or essential links.
Also, optimize that description box by adding the full transcript of the video. Keep in mind that there are people who will probably watch your video on-mute — for several valid reasons.
A well-optimized video description helps you show up in the suggested videos sidebar, and that is a significant source of views for most channels.
Make use of tags
Tags on your YouTube videos let your viewers know what the video is generally about. But you aren’t simply doing that for the viewers, you’re telling YouTube itself.
You see, YouTube uses tags in order to make sense of the content and context of your video.
This way, the platform will know how to associate your video with similar videos. This, in turn, will do wonders for broadening your video content reach.
But similar to how you choose your focus keywords for blog posts, keep your tags relevant. You may think irrelevant tags will get your more views, but on the contrary, Google isn’t above penalizing you for it.
Place your video under a specific category
You don’t want your uploaded videos to fall all over the place, do you?
So, once you upload your newest video on YouTube, choose a category for under “advanced settings.” This way, you can group your video with other similar content on YouTube.
It’s not as simple as choosing a category for your niche though…
In fact, YouTube’s Creator Academy would highly suggest that marketers undergo a comprehensive process to truly determine which category your video should belong in.
And according to the guide itself, you’re considering by answering questions like:
- Who are the top creators within the category? What are they known for, and what do they do well?
- Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
- Do the videos within a similar category have share qualities like production value, length, or format?
Customize your thumbnails
The video thumbnail is the visual summary — as well as a teaser — of your video. It’s the main image your viewers will see as they scroll through a list of video results.
Partnered with the title and the description, your thumbnail sends a signal to the viewer about what your video has in-store for your audience.
So, take the time to customize your thumbnails. Have your graphic design team think of something witty and special.
Don’t settle for a generic scene from the video.
YouTube’s Creator Academy reports that 90% of the best performing videos on YouTube make use of custom thumbnails. For that, choose images that are 1280×720 pixels and saved as 2MB or smaller in .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files.
This way your video thumbnail will appear in high-quality across all viewing channels.
Add subtitles & CC
Your video optimization isn’t a done deal without subtitles and closed captions. Why? Because these two can also help boost your YouTube search optimization by highlighting important keywords.
To do that, the platform will require you to upload a timed subtitles file or a supported text transcript. For the latter, you can also directly enter transcript text for video. This is so it auto-syncs with the uploaded video.
For added information on this, you can always refer to Google’s official instructions on the video below.
As you watched YouTube videos, have you ever noticed that small white circular icon with an “i” in the center appear at the corner of your video screen?
That little white circular thing is a Card.
And YouTube’s Creator Academy describes it as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”
You have the option to add 5 cards to a single video, and there are 6 types to choose from:
- Channel cards direct your viewers to another channel. This is great if you own other channels, and you want to promote it as well.
- Fan funding cards are for asking your viewers to help support your video creations.
- Donation cards are for encouraging your audience to participate in fundraising on behalf of nonprofit organizations.
- Poll cards pose questions for your viewers to answer. This is great for giving your audience the chance to choose what they want and to generate engagement and responses without little effort, of course.
- Link cards can redirect your viewers to an external site. This is your chance to point your viewers the way to your official website.
- Video or playlist cards provide a link to other YouTube content similar to the video’s kind.
But of course, who better to explain about the other mechanics of cards than the owner of the platform itself?
Step 7: Redirect new visitors to your website
No matter what kind of method you’re implementing and using in your video marketing strategies. Remember to always, always, point the way back to your channel — where possible.
Keep in mind that one of the reasons why you invested in video marketing is to reach your audience and persuade them into partaking of your services, and to build healthy professional relationships with them.
And to reach your audience appropriately, you must drive traffic to your official website as well, where they will see it all, know it all, and get to talk with you in a much more personal level.
Step 8: Track your progress
Getting to know your audience is a constant and ongoing process. It never stops, no matter which part of the digital marketing industry you’ll end up wandering to.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s a giant need for you to conduct surveys at every given moment. You can track your video marketing strategies’ progress, and get to know your audience in the process.
Check your YouTube as well as your site’s analytics regularly to see if your latest strategies are working and converting as they should be. Perform audits, and tweak your tactics where necessary.
Through this whole venture, you’ll find that the key to making a profit and seeing positive gains out of your video marketing strategies is to pay close attention to, not just your target audience, but especially to your competitors as well.
Know your key performance indicators (KPIs), and track important video marketing statistics like:
- Which videos your targeted audience and converted leads are interested in watching.
- The number of videos your qualified audiences consume.
- The number of viewers who stick around to watch your video until the very end.
- How much time they spend on your landing page after being redirected.
- The percentage of viewers responding to your CTAs.
Keep a close eye on the views, the watch time, your current subscribers, impressions, click-through rates, traffic sources, and top countries watching you.
The number of times when marketing experts have deemed that video is the future of content marketing is innumerable. But they are right in saying so; because it’s the undeniable truth. It’s a cold hard fact.
Markets, audiences, trends, technology, and strategy validity can all change in the blink of an eye. And it’s our job as professionals to keep up and adapt as best as we can or we risk getting left behind.
And as a startup company intent on growing your business, it’s essential to create competent video marketing strategies that will meet your target audience where they are, and give it to them when they want it.
To get you started down your path to successful and profitable video marketing under a startup budget, remember to:
- Have clear goals and objectives,
- Create a list of what to consider in preparation for content creation, so you don’t miss a thing,
- Assess your team’s capabilities, and assemble a production team,
- Be a stickler for video quality,
- Strategize where you show your videos,
- Optimize your videos fully for YouTube and Google search,
- Always point the way to your company’s official website to aid in traffic generating,
- And track your progress to know your audience and your marketing performance.
Pictures are worth thousands of words. So think about how much more a video is worth.